You won't at first. But then, you will. It will start innocently. Probably even before medical school. You will have a morbid curiosity about passing ambulances and motor vehicle accidents. Your original empathy for the victim will disappear when you begin to think of them as patients ... as test cases. The commodification accelerates during the early years of medical school. Anatomy, pathology and physiology provide you a vocabulary to replace human ...

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So let’s step outside our traditional arguments when discussing the health care problem of gun violence in this country. We all know the entrenched opinions of both sides: The second amendment is inviolable vs. there are over 30,000 deaths from guns per year in this country, and why on earth does anyone need an assault weapon? But the city with the strictest gun laws, Chicago, has the most gun deaths, ...

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Every medical couple knows that the lifestyle and career choice brings with it adjustments and sacrifices. Physician spouses and partners often take on more housework and childcare to accommodate long working hours. Physicians may work unusual hours that lead to late-night arrivals, missed bedtime tuck-ins, and less face-to-face time. This can lead many couples to blame medicine for their struggling relationship. Take the example of a resident who has been working ...

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Burnout is a tragedy.  It terminates careers, friendships, marriages and sometimes lives, prematurely.  It threatens the well-being of individuals, families, patients, organizations and our society. The current media focus on the crisis of physician burnout is appropriate and timely, but the industry itself needs a reality check.  While burnout is experienced by the individual, it is the manifestation of a dysfunctional environment that only we as physicians and leaders in ...

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In the interests of full disclosure, I acknowledge with delight that I have a non-time limited board certificate from the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA), issued before the year 2000. I can just say “no” to recertification. The more I learn about the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and its highly paid board members, the more disillusioned I’ve become. It’s easy to see why so many physicians today have concluded ...

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Our recent paper on differences in outcomes for Medicare patients cared for by male and female physicians created a stir. While the paper received broad coverage and mostly positive responses, there have also been quite a few critiques. There is no doubt that the study raises questions that need to be aired and discussed openly and honestly. Its limitations — which the paper highlights — are important. Given the temptation ...

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The day I got into medical school, my uncle said to me, “You are going to be a doctor!  We finally have a doctor in the family.  You are going to take care of your uncle in his old age.”  Other family members echoed the same sentiment.  First doctor in the family.  Now, we will all have free medical advice. As I progressed through medical school, then internship and residency, then ...

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asco-logo One of the privileges of medicine is the chance to meet people from every walk of life — many of whom you might never get a chance to know otherwise. Of course, such meetings are never spontaneous. In medicine, we are brought together by illness, and the people coming to see me are seeking advice on treatment for ...

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acp new logoA guest column by the American College of Physicians, exclusive to KevinMD.com. If you are a primary care physician, chances are that you’ve had patients ask you to complete forms for work as part of their employer’s wellness program. Workplace wellness programs have been around for several years, but it seems that more of my patients have ...

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Dear hospital executive, If you are like many of the hospital leaders with whom I regularly talk, you’re probably concerned that your hospitalist program isn’t delivering the value you need in this metrics-driven and cost-constrained environment. You may see your hospitalists as disengaged free agents who either don’t know or care too little about contributing to the success of your organization beyond seeing the patients on their list. They may repeatedly ...

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